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How to Replace the Water Pump in a Toyota Highlander

by Contributor

The water pump is the heart of the Toyota Highlander's cooling system, circulating the coolant. Make sure to change out a faulty water pump, which can cause the engine to overheat resulting in serious damage.

Remove the Water Pump

Disconnect the negative cable on the car battery before you begin.

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator. When the engine is cool, drain the cooling system from the radiator into the pan.

Take out the alternator.

Loosen the water pump pulley bolts and take out the water pump pulley.

Remove the water pump from the engine.

Install the Water Pump

Insert and install the new water pump, tightening the bolts to 80 inch pounds.

Reinsert the water pump pulley, making sure to tighten the bolts to 19 foot pounds.

Reinstall the vehicle's alternator.

Refill the cooling system with coolant to the proper levels. Start the engine and check for leaks when the engine reaches normal operating temperatures.

Tips

  • Loud noises coming from the cooling system could be a sign that your water pump needs replacing. A leak in the coolant may also be an indicator. You can expect that a water pump will need changed every 70,000 to 100,000 miles or so in a Toyota vehicle.
  • Disconnecting the negative battery cable may reset the on-board computer system or parts of the computer system, so be aware that you may have to reset certain settings.

Warning

  • Never attempt to drain the radiator when the engine is hot. The steam and the hot coolant within the radiator can cause serious burns.

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